Tree preservation scheme aims to save green spaces
HALTON residents are being urged to stand up for their street trees and take part in a new neighbourhood watch scheme for nature.
The Woodland Trust is launching an initiative across the country to encourage people to celebrate trees in their area and help to protect and value nature on their doorstep.
Runcornians and Widnesians are being invited to join forces with their neighbours and apply for one of 500 Street Trees Celebration Starter Kits.
They will receive bunting, badges and funky wheelie-bin transfers to show their appreciation for their trees.
Project lead Joseph Coles said: “Street Trees face unprecedented threats. Be it climate change, tree disease, development or council budgets.
“However, they bring a huge array of benefits to people – from recreation to combating pollution.
“With 80% of the UK’s people living in urban settlements, street trees are their main daily contact with nature.
If we are to keep people connected with nature we need to preserve it on their doorsteps.
“Through the Street Trees project, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we will connect people with the trees closest to them, offering them the tools and resources to both celebrate and protect them, while raising awareness at the highest levels that street trees are valuable and worth investing in and preserving.
“We need to encourage people to celebrate trees, whatever their drive might be – social cohesion, economic benefits, sentimental or simply because a tree looks nice.
“People need to demand that their trees are respected and protected”.
The initiative has been funded through a £500,000 boost from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and aims to rally people to look after threatened trees on their doorstep.
A recent report showed councils are felling more than 50 trees a day nationwide.
People’s Postcode Lottery’s head of charities Clara Govier said “Street trees provide so many benefits to the communities where they are found.
“We’re delighted our players ● are able to support the Street Trees project, encouraging communities to celebrate and protect the trees on their doorsteps”
The scheme follows a nationwide survey by the Woodland Trust which shows almost three quarters of city people want access to green space or parkland within walking distance from their home.
A total of 78% believe that trees are essential for relaxing and making them feeling happier.
A similar percentage cited their importance for health and removing air pollution.
A spokesman for The Woodland Trust said: “Access to greenspaces, be that parks, woods, or smaller areas, was quite strongly agreed to be an important part of living in urban areas.
“However, people’s time commitments and the state or accessibility of local greenspaces meant that the actual number of people visiting such areas is lower than the aspiration.”
For more information visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/ streetrees
Cheshire people are being urged to take part in ‘neighbourhood watch’ scheme for street trees Pic: Jim Christie